It is very odd being in the workplace at 63 years old. It is as if I blinked and all of a sudden 30 years raced by. And yet, here I am, white hair, osteoarthritis, and all. Lest I brag and perhaps endanger myself, I still have all of my teeth, most of my wits, and I can still walk. I have not had a heart attack I don’t have cancer and I don’t have liver disease nor any of those other horrid things. I know I should be grateful.
Actually, I am. I have a roof over my head. It is modest, it is not my own, and in a year I’ll be moving again. But for now, it is mine. As Virginia Woolf said you definitely have to have money so you can write. She was talking about having a Room, but even that cost an enormous amount of money now. There are so many homeless people in the city and I am just lucky I’m not one of them.
So what are Friday’s like now for a working girl? Sounds absurd doesn’t it as if I were 20 and expected to go out drinking. What a precious relief that I’m not. As a matter of fact, I looked forward to coming home taking a hot bath having a good glass of red wine and reading Mrs. Dalloway. If that makes me a frightful bore then so be it.
For I prefer my own company and silence and solitude lonely as it is, Is preferable to some loathsome forced social arrangement. I do not know whether I will ever have any kind of male partner or companion again. That doesn’t seem to work well for me. I wonder if I will just be honest with my own instincts and pair with another female for the rest of my days. I can see that so much more. I have such wellsprings of emotions in me right now that it is going to take years to process them. It is only been a year since my mother died. I’m not done.
I don’t know who she was. I knew her as my mother but never knew her as a person my loss and The Secret she carried her to the grave. I’m not sure who I am at all. I used to think I was nothing like her then I thought I was like her and now I’m not sure of either. It is true that as you get older you mourn and there so many things to be sad about. That’s a whole other essay. I’m not up to writing that one tonight.
Grieving is hard. True grief really working through it never for the faint of heart. This is why I avoid long stretches of silence unless I’m reading or doing our work. I crave and need them but on the other hand, I know what I’m going to come face-to-face with. It is the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done.
So there you have it. Friday of the life of a working woman. Knowing that tomorrow I will be caretaker for my father until 3 or 4:00 p.m., and I will join friends for a movie and dinner. I wonder if I have the stamina to last through dinner. It all depends.
Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.